Interviews Reviews Guest Stars Fanzine Misc

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Scavenging for cool stuff at the Montreal Comiccon (2023 edition)

An integral part of convention coverage is the ever-important article talking about all the cool stuff we bought from vendors, because really... other than talking to artists & writers and getting books signed, attending panels, snapping pics of cosplayers, getting photos with celebrities, and checking out the free exhibits... what else is there to do? (That was a joke, by the way)


I searched far & wide throughout the vendor floor for anything noteworthy and here's what I came up with:

1) TOTAL JUSTICE Black Lightning & Green Arrow (carded)

Kenner Total Justice Black Lightning & Green Arrow

As mentioned in my post-Ottawa Comiccon write-up last year, Total Justice Black Lightning was a figure I needed to complete my Total Justice collection, but passed on due to cost. It was worth the wait however, because at Montreal Comiccon I saw both Black Lightning AND Green Arrow for sale at a reasonable price. (I was also missing Green Arrow.) The price for the two was very reasonable, so reasonable that I didn't even bargain with the vendor -- I just gave him his asking price, snatched them up immediately, and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around with them. Score.

2) Batman 1989 movie glasses

1989 Batmania is alive every day in my heart and (in a perfect world) in my kitchen, but these Batman 89 drinking glasses were a little too fragile and pricey for me to want to leave with. If memory serves me correctly, these were promotional drinking glasses offered by Ultramar, a Canadian gas station outlet, and there was a total of 6 of them. I really miss the days when gas stations offered cool promotional movie tie-ins; now all they offer is 2 bags of chips for $7.50.

3) Batman Returns AMT model kit

I'm not typically a 'model kit' type-of-guy, but I would make an exception for this AMT Batman Returns Batmobile model kit straight out of 1992. I mean, how hard could it be? The Batmobile is ALL black, as are the plastic parts in the kit. Ultimately, I didn't buy this because it was a project I most likely never would've started or finished. I might've considered this had they been selling it for $15 less, however. Of note, they also had a Batman Returns Batskiboat model kit for sale.

4) Super Powers Batman puzzle

Upon seeing this, waves of nostalgia hit my body. You see, my parents bought me a ton of puzzles throughout my youth during my pre-school and kindergarten years -- they justified that it was a good hobby to increase problem solving skills and coordination -- so yeah, I had lots of puzzles as a kid. I probably even owned this one at some point. The Super Powers starburst logo still gets my heart beating fast as I associate it with awesomeness and DC comic heroes. I didn't buy this, but it was definitely a contender. 

5) Toy R Us Arkham City exclusive Batman

Celebrating 2011's Batman: Arkham City by Rocksteady Studios, this fully-articulated Batman action figure caught my attention for his classic blue-and-grey color scheme. It reminded me of the Super Powers Batman that I owed and loved when I was a kid or, conversely, the Batman that led the Outsiders in the 80s. I ended up NOT buying this because it was a little out of scale with the figs I'm used to collecting.

6) Wall of megos and other DC action figs

One vendor had a whole wall of Figures Toy Company DC figures up for grabs. It's rare for me to see this many FTC figs on sale at once -- typically I only see the odd one in a comic book shop since they sell out so quickly. I already own a few of these, but I'm not sure if I'm ready (or have the display space in my house) to take the plunge and buy more. That being said, smaller-sized figs are still a-okay with me, and I did notice that they also had some McFarlane Toys Super Powers figs for sale, but I already owned those ones and didn't need doubles. To wit, a lot of vendors were selling McFarlane Super Powers figs, but mostly Darkseids and Batmans. On a side note, it's only now that I'm looking back at this photo that I'm realizing the vendor was also selling Boss Fight Studio's Power Star figs (these are actually in-scale with Super Powers figs): 

I'm kicking myself for not noticing that Phantom up for grabs. Flash Gordon and Ming I can take or leave, but Phantom has been high on my want list since this toyline had been announced. DC tried their luck at publishing a Phantom ongoing series in the late 80s, so this totally justifies Phantom and Batman standing side-by-side on my display shelf:

The Phantom #1 v2 (1989)

7) Funko 3.75" Suicide Squad Harley Quinn & Joker (carded)

NOTE: These are not the actual figures. This is an image from

These were the ones "that got away". I had every intention of buying these, but rushed off to do an interview, and when I came back they were gone. These were two of the Legion of Collectors exclusives offered by DC Comics when the first Suicide Squad film was released. I've been collecting them as I see them available, and I'm still missing seven of the nine figures. Is it a lost cause? Well, I haven't given up, yet.

8) Toybiz Batmobile

This was the biggest score of all: a 1989 Toybiz Batmobile complete with plastic 'cocoon' Batmobile shield. While it was nowhere near mint, and the original owner apparently couldn't stick the Batman sticker right-side up, it was still something I gravitated towards and purchased with just a bit of haggling. Really happy to add this to my collection of Batman 89 Toy Biz figs.  


1. I did buy a t-shirt. But I have no idea where I put it. It was a Justice League shirt. I love shirts that have a lot of people on them. Oh I remember:

2. I also bought a script from Gail Simone because she's awesome.

3. I looked for the 1990 prestige format series Twilight, but nope. No one had it. It's because I wanted it. 

4. In 2016 I almost bought New Teen Titans #2 for a 100$. Now it's 500$ so that ship has sailed. 

5. I also bought Sailor Moon and Kirby stuffed dolls for my daughter. Shopping is hard. 


Big thanks to Leeja Murphy and Agence Pink for organizing this really fun 3-day event. So many interesting things to look at, so little time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

DC in the 80s visits 2023 Montreal Comiccon

We were thrilled to be invited to the 2023 Montreal Comiccon taking place at the Palais Des Congrès in Montreal, Quebec from July 14 to 18, 2023, mainly because when Montréal celebrates, they celebrate in full force (a comiccon being no exception). 

This was also a truly special occasion since co-editor Mark Belkin travelled all the way from New York to join me as we worked the floor and interviewed Mike Grell, Gail Simone, Renée Witterstaetter and Mike Rooth. We also chatted with Geof Isherwood and Dan Parent, but unfortunately missed out on Yanick Paquette and Greg Capullo due to time constraints. Rags Morales was, unfortunately, a no-show due to a last-minute flight cancellation. Also attending Montreal comiccon that weekend: Stephen Amell, Laura Vandervoot, Tom Welling, and a few other celebrities who had starred in DC TV shows. 

Montreal was extra hot and humid, yet this event had more than 65,000 attendees throughout the weekend. I mean, seriously, it was packed. The vendor areas were packed, the main foyer was packed, the panel rooms were packed -- but everyone was very respectful and mindful of others, and the crowds parted like the Red Sea for Moses whenever someone in a wheelchair or crutches needed to navigate through the busy convention centre. 

There was a bit for everyone this year: plenty of panels with celebrities and comic book creators, autograph sessions and photo ops, an Indie gaming zone, a tabletop gaming zone, plenty of vendors selling a lot of everything, exhibits,...

Did you know that Montreal is home to a lot of game development companies? Many of them were displaying their new games in the Indie Gaming Zone

The Tabletop Gaming Zone had open tables with games all set up to go. The only games being played were Marvel or Star Wars tabletop games; no DC comics games unfortunately. 

...and the Brampton Batman with his own Batmobile:

As mentioned, we stopped by to briefly chat with Mike Grell who told us that he's currently working on completing his Maggie the Cat graphic novel that's set to be released anytime soon. Grell was in fine form and drawing up a storm trying to fulfill his overflowing commission list. 

Mike Grell and co-editor Mark Belkin

Lots and lots of cosplay this weekend -- more DC than I've seen in previous years. The most popular female DC characters cosplayed were Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman, and Raven. The most popular male DC characters cosplayed were Batman, Deathstroke, and Green Arrow.

As per usual, we're going to feature the most stand-out DC cosplay that we saw this weekend:

Dr. Fate

This is the first DC cosplayer we saw as we walked in on Saturday morning, which we'd consider... a good omen. We chatted briefly with this cosplayer and they told us that Dr. Fate was one of their favorite characters, and that he was still looking for a Super Powers Collection Dr. Fate action figure for his own personal collection. (Can't argue with good taste.)

Batman and Batman-related character cosplay are always quite popular at the cons, mainly because I don't think a single person under the age of 65 hasn't been impacted by Batman in some form or another during their formative years. We always appreciate seeing the less common bat-family characters represented: 

Batwoman and Robin

Nightwing, Cassandra Cain (aka Blackbat) & Spoiler

This husband-and-wife cosplayer duo made a really great Zatanna & John Constantine. I especially appreciate his 'super serious' face and her 'about to burst with excitement' expression. Super adorable. 

Zatanna and John Constantine

Death of the Endless even made an appearance:


I don't think I've ever seen a Roy Harper/Red Arrow/Arsenal cosplay at a comiccon, but there's a first time for everything and this cosplayer totally nailed it. They took the extra time to set up the bow with trick arrows and pose for us. Just fantastic attention to detail:

Arsenal/Roy Harper/Red Arrow

I always love seeing characters from the Justice League Giffen/DeMatteis/Nolan run, and no, we didn't ask them where Blue Beetle was:

Booster Gold

We saw a lot of Ravens (of Teen Titans Go), and this one really stood out for the attention to detail:

Hey, it's Rorschach:

A few non-DC cosplayers that stood out...

...Johnny 5 from 1986's Short Circuit

...Marvel's Dazzler:

...Barbie (no doubt in reference to the soon-to-be-released film):

...early 90s Ghost Rider:


..She-Hulk (have you seen the Disney+ series yet?):

...and Angela (actually, there were a few more Spawn-themed cosplayers than usual, no doubt because Capullo was in attendance):

All in all, this comiccon was resounding success. Thanks to Leeja Murphy and Agence Pink for organizing such an impressive event. We can't wait to see what they come up with next time.